Stoker

Normal_STOKERSTILL-001Stoker is a British/American psychological thriller from South Korean director Park Chan-wook who is well known for the Vengeance trilogy that includes worldwide classic Oldboy. The story centres around India who’s grieving her fathers untimely death. When her uncle Charlie, whom she didn’t know existed, comes to stay she not only grows increasingly suspicious of his ulterior motives but becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

The most striking thing about Stoker is its quirky editing style. From start to finish it boasts a unique, quirky and very artistic editing style that flows smoothly and gives the film a very arty, stylish feel. At times this becomes a bit much however, and occasionally feels as though the editor is merely showing off their skills and trying to cram in as many stylish, fancy transitions and effects as possible. It’s difficult to just sit and enjoy the film when the editing is so in your face, but fortunately this only happens once or twice; the rest of the film, and its editing, is very Stoker - Mia Wasikowskastylish.

Mia Wasikowska‘s performance is fantastic and she seems to go from strength to strength in her acting. Throughout Stoker she’s pensive and mysterious, there’s a constant niggling feeling throughout the start of the film that she’s not quite as she seems and eventually the story unfolds with an exciting and unexpected climax. Her performance is a brilliant balance between the innocent grieving girl and the experienced, knowledgable young woman that she becomes towards the end. There are hints of both of these sides throughout the film which really adds to that niggling ‘there’s something more to this girl’ feeling.

STK-9478-1.NEFThe story is quite confusing and the film was originally marketed as a horror. The name Stoker conjures images of vampires, largely down to the fact that Bram Stoker is the genius behind Draculahowever the film is far from the creepy, dark horror that it was advertised to be. While a dark, quirky, stylish and brilliantly acted psychological thriller is a brilliant film for some, others might be disappointed by its lack of scares and its similarity to the drama/psychological thriller genre. It’s a stylish and interesting little film but the story feels lacking. You could be forgiving for expecting Uncle Charlie to suddenly be found hanging upside down from the bed post, or baring sharp fangs, and it feels disappointingly like its missing something. The editing is quirky and beautiful, the performances are great but all in all it feels like one great big vessel for a group of film-people to show off their skills and try to cram in as many fancy-pants techniques as possible. There’s a much bigger focus on style than there is on story.

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10 thoughts on “Stoker

  1. I had a feeling that this was going tobe all style and no substance. I love Chan-Wook’s films, but the problem with this seems to be the studios poor marketing of his newest marketing. Great review, as always! 😀

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    1. Yep that’s pretty much it…all style and no substance! It’s weird, I saw the trailer more than once and for some reason honestly thought it was like a vampire horror sort of thing…really terrible marketing!
      It’s stylish but it just looked to me like a bunch of filmmakers showing off…good editing should go pretty much unnoticed, this editing slaps you right in the face!
      Thanks 😀

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      1. Definitely! I mean… I love a bit of funky editing from time to time that makes me think ‘wow’…there were definitely some wow moments…but for the most part it was just jarring and got in the way of the story.
        I hope I haven’t ruined this film for you, I know you’re a park chan-wook fan xD haha still, it is definitely worth a watch 😀

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      2. I’ll definitely be watching it, but I will admit to feeling a bit ambivalent after watching the trailer three times and not being able to dredge up much enthusiasm, despite knowing that Chan-Wook was directing! LOL

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      1. She is a great actress…she wasn’t in Stoker that much though, but Mia Wasikowska is pretty good too 🙂

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